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Recognition Event for December Graduates
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Barton Hall

The university's fifteenth annual Recognition Event and Reception for December Graduates is a special event enjoyed by students and families. There is no limit to the number of guests who may attend and there are no tickets. However, for event planning purposes, students who plan to attend must RSVP.



  • 9:00am - Doors open at Barton Hall
  • 9:00-9:30am - Students arrive to register & assemble
  • 10:00-11:15am - Recognition Event
  • 11:15am-Noon - Coffee Reception


Click here for an event CHECKLIST for students and families.

Students planning to attend:

  • ORDER cap & gown by 11/15
  • RSVP by 12/14 for Recognition Event
  • PICK UP cap & gown 12/14 or 12/15 at distribution
  • RSVP for college event, if one is planned
  • Follow any other instructions from college, department, Bursar, University Registrar, Housing Office, etc.

RSVP for University Recognition Event

RSVP form Students must RSVP here by December 14
if planning to attend the university ceremony.

College Events - additional RSVP

The following colleges host additional celebratory events for their graduate & undergraduate students. These students are asked to RSVP for their college event, in addition to a separate RSVP for the university event.

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS)
Continental Breakfast for CALS Graduates & Families
Saturday, December 16, 7:30-9:00am
Statler Hotel, Terrace Restaurant

RSVP CALS students: RSVP by noon Friday, 12/8
Questions: 607-255-2257 or email
School of Hotel Administration (SHA)
Celebratory Breakfast with SHA Deans
Saturday, December 16, 8:00-9:00am
Statler Hotel, Ballroom, 2nd Floor

RSVP SHA students: RSVP by noon Friday, 12/8
Questions: SHA website, 607-255-9393 or email
ILR School (ILR)
Informal Reception for ILR Graduates & Families
Friday, December 15, 3:30-4:30pm
Ives Hall, Room 281, Doherty Lounge

RSVP ILR students: RSVP by Monday, 12/11
Questions: 607-255-2223 or email


The Statler Hotel is available for on-campus lodging and dining in December. Please contact The Statler Hotel directly for reservations. A list of area hotels and bed & breakfasts may be found at

Announcements, Class Rings, Diploma Frames

The Cornell Store

Visit The Cornell Store for the best selection of Cornell gifts and apparel.

Cap & Gown

Wearing cap & gown is both traditional and required for students participating in the university Recognition Event. Students order their cap & gown from our supplier, Herff Jones. These are rental outfits, so students must return items in Barton Hall immediately following the event.

Order Cap & Gown (rent)
Pick Up Cap & Gown
Return Cap & Gown
Regalia FYI - Colors, Keepers, What to Return
Purchase PhD Regalia to Own (optional)
Faculty: go to faculty page

Cap & Gown - Order

Take Note The deadline to pre-order cap & gown online has now passed. Students who did not order online may obtain an outfit by going to Distribution on December 14-15 to request an outfit in person. Please take $10 CASH for late fee, in addition to the rental cost.
Students do not need to notify the Commencement Office or the cap & gown company that they will be ordering in person.

Cap & Gown - Cost

    Bachelor: $-0-*
    Master: $22.20* includes tax
    Doctoral: $74.00* includes tax
    *add $10 for walk-in orders

Cap & Gown - Pick Up (Distribution)

All students pick up cap & gown at Distribution at 163 Day Hall.
Pre-orders: pick up your outfit
Walk-ins: request an outfit in person (add $10 cash)

    December 14-15 (Thurs-Fri)
    163 Day Hall
    take student ID

Students who pre-ordered online will pick up their order at Distribution. Students who missed the Nov 15 deadline will go to Distribution in December to request an outfit in person (add $10 cash). The company rep brings all pre-ordered outfits, plus a large supply of extra regalia for walk-in orders. Red & white souvenir tassels will be available at Distribution for anyone to purchase.

Cap & Gown - Return

December 16 (Sat), BY NOON, Barton Hall
Students may keep their caps and tassels as souvenirs, but all gowns and hoods are rentals that MUST be returned. The return area will be located inside Barton Hall for students to conveniently drop off items before leaving the building.

Regalia FYI: Colors, Keepers, What to Return

Click here to read what's included with cap & gown rentals and what to keep or return.

*Purchase Regalia to Own (optional)
Herff Jones is the university's preferred vendor offering custom regalia throughout the year for alumni, faculty, and degree candidates wishing to purchase regalia to own. Please contact Herff Jones directly to buy regalia, but be sure to inquire about delivery time, as it may take several weeks to receive custom orders.

Ceremony Instructions - All Degree Candidates

Arrival and Registration
Candidates must arrive at Barton Hall between 9:00-9:30am, wearing cap & gown (PhD will carry their hood) and MUST report to their college registration table to receive their name card. Candidates will also line up, march, sit, and cross stage with their college.

Procession Lineup
After receiving your name card, line up two-across (not alphabetically) with your conferring college. You must be in line for the procession by 9:30, or 9:45am latest. You MUST CARRY YOUR NAME CARD during the procession and to your seat. Do not fold your card, and do not change seats. An usher will collect your name card for the reader as soon as you've been seated.

During the ceremony, each college or degree group will be asked to stand and approach the stage. Readers from each college will read students' names from the name cards, as students cross the stage. Each student will walk across the stage to shake hands with their college dean and the university president. PhD candidates will carry their hood and be formally hooded on stage by the dean of the Graduate School.

After the ceremony, students, family members, and guests may enjoy a reception with light refreshments. Congratulations!

Informational Mailing

Undergraduate degree candidates and their families receive event information from the Commencement Office in late October. An information packet is mailed to families at the home address in StudentCenter. Students receive an email with event information and instructions to participate.

Graduate degree candidates receive event information and instructions from their college or field.


Diplomas are mailed to graduates, not distributed at the Recognition Event.

The conferral (diploma) date for December degrees is December 31, 2017.


Barton Hall's main entrance is located on Garden Avenue. map Parking is available at Hoy Parking Garage, the Crescent Lot behind Schoellkopf Stadium, the Kite Hill Lot along Campus Road, or parking spaces below Tower Road and along Garden Avenue. There is no charge to park on campus on Saturday.


  • Accessible Entrance & Unloading: To avoid stairs and/or reduce walking distance, guests may be dropped off at the Barton Hall entrance on Garden Avenue before parking. map
    Guests will encounter several stairs if entering through doors located on the Statler Hotel side of Barton Hall. To avoid stairs, please use the Garden Avenue entrance.
  • Accessible Seating: Floor seating is available in Barton Hall and does not need to be requested in advance. Guests with wheelchairs and walkers will be able to sit with other family members (in chairs with back support) without requiring a special pass or seating location. As a courtesy, ushers with wheelchairs will be inside Barton Hall to help transport guests from the Barton Hall entrance (Garden Avenue side) to seating areas, if needed.
  • Hearing-Impaired: A sign language interpreter will be on stage during the ceremony. The livestream will be captioned. If you need further hearing-impaired assistance, please contact the Commencement Office by December 11.


Livestream will begin at 10:00am at The recorded event will remain online for later viewing as well. A DVD is not available for purchase.


Professional photographs will be taken of each student crossing the stage and again after exiting the stage. Students will receive an email the following week to view and/or purchase photos. For questions, please contact Grad Images at 800-261-2576 or email, or visit


A reception with light refreshments will immediately follow the Recognition Event. All students and guests are invited to stay and enjoy the reception, which will be held in Barton Hall. (Ccaps & gowns must be returned before leaving Barton Hall.)


There are no tickets for this event, as there are plenty of seats for everyone. However, we do ask students to RSVP to help with our planning.

Weather Plan

The Recognition Event will be canceled if Tompkins County roads are CLOSED. It will not be rescheduled.
university operating status

Commencement Ceremony - May 2018

December '17 degree candidates are welcome to participate in May 2018 Commencement events in addition to the December Recognition Event.

Undergraduate Students: The Commencement Office mails Commencement information packets in late January to December graduates, including those who attend the December Recognition Event. Graduates planning to attend Commencement events in May should follow instructions received in the Commencement Packet, but they do not need to inform the Commencement Office of their plans to attend.

Graduate Students: Commencement Packets for graduate students should be obtained in the spring through their appropriate graduate field/college by graduate students who plan to attend the May ceremony.